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made you mine ; you would still link yourself to the man whose hand is red with your

father's blood; and

you would leave me to the mockery of the world."

“You hurt me, sir," she said, defiantly, and endeavouring to wrench her arm from him.

“Be calm, madam, and hear me. Since nothing that I have said can influence you to your own benefit, or to justice to me, I must deal with you as the wayward child

you are.

Help, Richard Janfarie-help, brother, help !" she cried, raising her voice, and struggling with all her strength to free herself.

But neither her cries nor her struggles disturbed the implacable resolution of his dark visage.

“You shall be taught submission, mistress, by means of the mad humour which has driven you to such desperation."

She made no other answer, than by continuing her call for help; and she fancied that the heavy curtain which screened the recesses of the central windows were agitated. “Be silent and listen,” he said, sternly; “if you

have any heed for the safety of Lamington-but it may be your care for him is as false

He paused, seeking a simile, and she filled up the blank.

“It is as true as my contempt for you is deep."

"You shall prove that. The Abbot is coming hither presently, to consider the appeal I have lodged with him for the arrest of Bertrand Gordon, of Lamington, and for his authority to support my title to carry you hence by force.”

“No good man will give his authority to such a pro

“I am content to hazard that, for you yourself shall weigh the balance down in

my

favour." “I?” she gasped, becoming suddenly still, so much was she confounded by this new effrontery. “Your cunning will work marvels indeed if it can make me say aught save that you are no true man in having tortured me thus."

“You are heated, mistress, and I take no count of your words. The Abbot will, most like, ask you to decide whether you will go with me or not.”

ject.

" And I will tell him that I will only accept the protection of Lamington."

With a malicious glimmer in his eyes, Cochrane brought his face close to hers.

“ And at the moment you make that declaration Lamington will be stricken dead at

your

feet.” She started back with a cry of fear and horror, but he still held her tightly.

“I will denounce your villainous intention.”

No, you will not do that, for it would only hasten his doom. You will see that I am prepared for every emergency."

He dragged her to the first screened window, and he drew the curtain aside.

In the recess two men were standing with swords drawn as if ready to rush forth at a given signal to execute the treacherous design which Cochrane had revealed to the unfortunate lady.

“ You know the signal,” said Cochrane, as if taking a fiendish delight in showing her how carefully his mine had been laid.

“We do," answered the men, stolidly.

He dropped the curtain, and then drew her to the next window. There also she saw two men with their naked swords glittering in the sunlight. The same question and answer were repeated; and again the curtain covered the hidden executioners.

Cochrane surveyed her dumb consternation with apparent satisfaction. Then, after a pause, to permit her to realize the full terror of her situation, he said, slowly

“ Are you satisfied that your resistance cannot help yourself, and will bring destruction upon him?

“I am satisfied that you are a demon,” she ejaculated, passionately.

“Say rather a man who never allows his resolution to be baulked. They are coming-remember Lamington's life depends upon your word; and the slightest movement of your hand, or the faintest glance of your eye that would betray me, is his death-warrant.'

He released her at the moment when the approaching footsteps which had warned him that the Abbot and his company were at hand, halted at the door. Janfarie, whe had been on the watch, threw open the door.

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The Abbot, David Panther, entered first. He was a tall, stoutly built man. His features were massive, and of a rather ruddy complexion, as if he were one accustomed to good living, although the gravity of his bearing accorded well with his position, and dispelled any irreverent reflections which a first glance at his face might have inspired.

His eyes were large, and twinkled with an expresssion that seemed to be composed equally of shrewdness, cunning, and good humour. They were eyes to dance at a good jest without being over particular as to its character, and at the same time they were eyes to penetrate motives, and quick to sum up the real nature of any one who might be brought directly under their observation.

In brief, Panther was a man who could buckle on the armour which his position in those days privileged him to wear, and who could do good service in the field for his own cause; a man who could compete in policy with the cunningest courtier of the period, and who could be royally merry when occasion served, whilst no Churchman could better uphold the dignity of his order.

The Abbot was followed by the Prior, a sharp-featured man, whose body seemed to be worn by the austerities he practised. After him entered Lamington, whose face was singularly pale, and whose eyes moved restlessly round the chamber until they rested upon Katherine. Then they brightened, as if his mind were relieved of some doubt, but he did not approach her.

She remained where Cochrane had left her, on the right hand of the chair of state, transfixed and bewildered between her terror of the treachery which threatened her lover, and her doubt of the consequences to him and to herself, if she should attempt to save his life by suppressing the truth. The dilemma was so terrible, and the necessity to decide one

way or the other so imminent, that she was distracted. She could neither speak nor move, but only stand with pallid face bent toward the floor, striving to collect her sadly confused thoughts.

The Abbot eyed her curiously as he passed to the chair of state, and observed that she made no movement to salute him. He took his seat without a word, and the Prior, as next in authority, occupied a chair on his right. Twelve

monks ranged themselves round their superiors : and Richard Janfarie, who had entered last, with moody brow and slow step, took his stand near Cochrane. The latter saluted the Abbot with grave courtesy, and, bonnet in hand, stood calmly awaiting the issue of the trial.

CHAPTER X.

THE ABBOT'S COURT.

“Quhat waefou wae her bewtie bred,

Waefou to young and auld ;
Waefou, I trow, to kyth and kin,
As story ever tauld."

Hardyknute. As soon as the Abbot had taken his seat he bowed gravely to Sir Robert Cochrane in recognition.

The latter acknowledged his courtesy with less of his usual extreme politeness than he had ever displayed to one at whose hands he expected a service of any kind. Cold and calculating as the man's nature was, Katherine's fair face had obtained some influence over him that was not altogether due to his speculations as to the number of troopers her kinsmen could bring into the field to support his cause whenever he might need them.

This influence, strengthened by his chagrin in being made the fool of such a trick as that by which Lamington had carried the bride away, and still more heightened by her resistance and dislike, was urging him forward in his course with a degree of passion which somewhat interfered with the policy that in all other matters had guided his steps surely to preferment and success. His was one of those stubborn minds which only persevere the more in the attainment of an object as the difficulties surrounding it increase.

Under these conditions he had been so far affected by the interview which he had just held with Katherine that it quickened to anxiety his desire for the successful issue of his appeal to the Abbot, and rendered him fearful of any inopportune discovery of the ruse by which he hoped to influence Katherine's decision. Hence his somewhat

do so.

stiff acknowledgment of his lordship's courtesy. Slight as was the indication of his mental disturbance, the Abbot noted it; but without making any sign that might reveal his observation, he proceeded at once to the business in hand.

“You have made a sudden call upon me, Sir Robert Cochrane, to a singular duty,” he said ;“ but the emergency will excuse its abruptness. Besides, untimely as the call may be, as you have made it in the name of the king-a name we all respect and are bound to serve to the abandonment of all other claims save only those of Heaven-I attend here to review the subject of your complaint, and to render you justice so far as it is within human power to

Speak, then, and let us know your wrong, that we may right it if that be possible.”

The Abbot's voice was of a deep bass tone, which added to the authority of his presence, and which, in the almost breathless stillness of the audience, sounded upon their ears with peculiar solemnity.

The words reached Katherine where she stood in mute stupefaction, at first as if spoken in the distance, but gradually the sound became more distinct, the meaning penetrated her mind and recalled her to a shuddering sense of all the peril of her position; and filled her at the same time with a sensation of new dread, for she fancied that the Abbot was disposed to favour her persecutor. She listened with wildly throbbing pulse, but she did not raise her head.

Cochrane advanced a pace nearer to the judge by whom he had elected to have his cause tried.

I crave your lordship’s indulgence,” he said suavely, and bowing low, "for intruding my pitiful affairs upon you at a time when doubtless you are much occupied with the weighty matters of your holy office. But accident has led me hither, and for that I am thankful, since it has brought me within the hearing of so wise a judge. My cause needs only the impartial review of such an one as your lordship; and indeed it falls within the very palm of your sacred office to do me justice.”

“Proceed,” rejoined the Abbot, inclining his head slightly. There was a momentary twinkle in his eyes as if he fully appreciated the depth of Cochrane's sincerity in the compliments he offered.

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